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Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

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  • Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

    Hey guys.
    I'm usually over on woodnet but figured this would be the best place to ask for the assistance I need.

    Today I'm picking up the ridgid drill press. I have a copy of the receipt where others paid $149 as well as a pic of the shelf tag with the $149 price so hopefully that will fly. If not, not a big deal, I'm still picking it up. I have a 20% off harbor freight coupon from the current issue of wood magazine and already confirmed with the store they'll accept it. That on top of the 20% ridgid rebate brings the total cost in the end to $207 assuming I have to pay $299. I was originally going to get the harbor freight 38142 drill press but this one seems the better deal in the end. More spindle stroke, tefc motor (the hf one is open), greater column to bit distance, built in work light, tool tray, floor model, etc. I'm only paying $30 more than the 38142 would have cost me. I'm really excited and can't wait!

    So now I have a couple of questions. I've been reading all the threads with "dp1550" in them and a few mention using blue loctite. Where would I use it? I know the bolts that attach the column to the base; what about setscrews? Anywhere else I should use it?

    Now about installing the chuck. I've read the manual over a few times and it says to use the table to "press" the chuck in. I've always been under the impression that drill press chucks like to be tapped in with a mallet. Also, I've read a few instances where the table raising rack bent from the pressure. I don't want to do that to my new drill press so should I use the mallet method? I know to make sure the chuck taper and spindle are absolutely spotless and to retract the chuck teeth all the way.

    I'm working on a table for it now and can't wait to add this to my shop. Thanks guys! If I can get the drill press for $149 I'll probably grab the r2401 laminate trimmer too.

  • #2
    Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

    Welcome to the Ridgid forum!

    I have the Ridgid 1550 drill press and it is a very nice tool indeed. Mine wears the older "gray" and I bought it in 2003, when they introduced the new "orange" color scheme. To my knowledge and close observation, there is no difference, other than the color scheme.

    While I haven't reviewed all the "1550" posts that you have, I will tell you that my drill press went together very easily. I am not particular "muscular" and yet I had no problem lifting the "heavy" head/motor/spindle assembly into position on top of the column. (That is often written as a "weight challenge" without help.)

    I have no idea where one would need or use "Loctite". I have not read of any such recommendation, so didn't... and I don't know why or where it would be needed. Simply follow the instructions, in order, and you should have no problem with the assembly or with anything loosening, because you didn't use Loctite somewhere.

    The gear rack, simply sets in a groove at the base and is held in position by a column collar at the top of the rack. One should make sure that the top collar isn't forced down onto the gear rack in such a way as to hinder or restrict it's movement around the column. This is important, because if you wish to move the table from side to side, this gear rack needs to be able to move freely and if it binds, I imagine it can be distorted or even broken if one does not pay attention and tries to force the table to the side.

    As far as mounting the chuck, with it's Jacob's Taper (not a Morse Taper), simply follow the instructions: make sure the mating surfaces are spotless (as you already mentioned). Using the table to "press" and maybe lightly "bump" a couple of times, should be sufficient. At least it was for me.

    You could of course use a mallet as you mentioned, but I think Ridgid's instructions assure a more "square-on" method, while one chance's that a mallet blow might not be and thus any angular strike could risk damaging the chuck or taper fit.

    Overall, I have been very pleased with the Ridgid 1550. I looked at several models, including Craftsman, Delta, Jet, and a few others. I found the so called "fit and finish" on the Ridgid to be excellent and the price to be outstanding. I have found absolutely no performance flaws and have used the DP quite a lot... actually much more than I ever thought I would.

    BTW, I purchase a Rockler drill press table for mine. I modified the mounting so that it easily slides on and off the OEM table and use a couple of capscrews to lock it in place, once positioned.

    If we can be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to post.

    I hope this helps,



    • #3
      Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

      I to have this drill press and love it. I have not used loctite anyplace on my drill or plan to. So just dont do that. I installed my chuck just as stated in the directions and have not had a problem with it. So my advice would be to just follow the directions and have a blast drilling. Im sure you will enjoy it and find it is worth every penny.

      Power tools and accessories for man cave $5000. Wood to make things $1400. Ending up making a single cutting board for a gift…….Priceless


      • #4
        Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

        Thanks guys. On my old drill press I sold last year (grizzly g7943) I didn't use loctite and never had any issues.


        • #5
          Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

          Sorry, been a bit busy (see other thread!).

          The chuck goes in quite straightforwardly, it's all in the manual, and I've had no issues a year on.

          I have two issues with my DP, the first is it's a bit wobbly on the stand. I'm sure an hour making a 2x4 frame for the base will fix that (I have a tiled workshop, & it isn't 100% flat). Second one is that the lock toggle bolt thing for the table height requires a modicum of strength to tighten. It follows that it's a nightmare to undo! I think I need an extension on the handle.

          All in all, I think it's a great machine. I got a deal on it, and have been very pleased. Both of my issues are within my control to fix, and when I get a moment, I'll get to it. I'm just tired of screwing around with tools, and want to make something


          • #6
            Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

            Thanks again guys!
            Just got back with it. The manager tried to give me a small hassle about the harbor freight coupon but he gave in. I think he realized if he didn't let me use the coupon he'd lose the sale. Also I made sure he knew I was the guy calling the past couple of days inquiring about the drill press and whether or not it was in stock, as well as the fact that I spoke to no less than 3 people who all told me the same thing regarding the coupon.

            I haven't set it up yet, I'll do that first thing in the morning. The box was in great shape though. No gashes or any signs it was dropped or mishandled. I'm impressed with the home depot I went to though (north greenbush NY). Since I called twice today checking to make sure it was in stock it was already on a roll cart waiting for me.

            I think I'm gonna love it. The fit and finish of the display was light years ahead of the grizzly I sold last year, and that's saying a lot because I loved that drill press. The handles operated smoothly, no pitting, the column is stout as is the base, motor and head. I loosened the motor mount lock used to change belts and it slid smoothly back and forth. I like how the table is sturdy but not a needlessly big hunk of cast iron.

            I can't wait until the morning. I'm going to take lots of pics and document the process. I might even go down to the shop tonight after the kids are asleep and at least unbox and clean the parts. I'm very excited about my new toy!
            Last edited by NiteWalker; 09-16-2010, 07:28 PM.


            • #7
              Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

              i use mine for metal and heavy plate. i can stall or slip the belt, but that's safer than the work taking off like a frisbee. overall it's a perfect fit and i'm very pleased with the drill press.

              if i were to look for an improvement, it would be to install a variable speed motor and eliminate the belts.

              phoebe it is


              • #8
                Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

                Thanks for your input Rick.
                I'll be using mine for 99.9% wood so I don't forsee any issues with power. Although I'm not entirely versed in motors, HP and amperage, I know my grizzly was a 3/4 HP 9 amp motor while the ridgid is a 1/2 HP 8 amp. I doubt the difference is really that noticable.

                It's the features and capacity that really have me excited about this drill press. I originally wanted the steel city but need a dp asap. So my choices were the hf 38142, which I'm sure is a fine drill press based on all the reviews I've read around on the web, or when I stumbled upon the ridgid 20% rebate along with some home depot's accepting hf coupons it becaue a no brainer for me.

                Changing speed belts never bothered me on my grizzly but a vs feature that doesn't break the bank would be a welcome addition.


                • #9
                  Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

                  Just a followup to my original post after having some use of the press under my belt now.

                  -The press has been working great this past year and has been used a LOT. Power isn't an issue for me, even when spinning a 2 1/8" forstner. It drills very accurate holes too, with little to no perceivable runout.
                  -I've had the belt slip a couple of times. What's odd is that it was the front belt slipping to the next spot on the pulley above the current one. I did some checking and I'll have to align the pulleys. I didn't do a detailed analysis because up to this point it's been working great. But either the motor pulley is too low (easily fixed) or the middle pulley is too high, in which case I'll just get a replacement from ridgid.
                  -Both of the motor mount locking knobs (on each side of the head that you looses to change belts) broke where the plastic meets the bolt. The plastic cracked and fell off. I contacted ridgid about this and they sent me a new set of knobs. These knobs are a bit heavier duty (thicker plastic) and should last longer, but I think if these break I'll get some metal knobs. I may do that anyway just on case.
                  -The chuck holds bits tightly, but sometimes opening or closing it is rough. I'll give it a good cleaning, but would really like a keyess. Grizzly has a nice one I've been eyeballing, the G8583.
                  -The light is ok, though I wish it were one of the swing arm lamps. I think I'll add one of those sometime soon. I'll probably go for a danray. Very expensive, but definitely top quality (have one on my desk).
                  -I like the table especially for the through slots. This makes it a lot easier to attach an auxiliary table.
                  -The tray is a nice touch, but kept filling with shavings. A first I swung it around to the back, but recently just took it off completely.

                  So all in all I'm really happy with the press and see no need for a replacement for quite a while. If I ever do replace it, it will probably be with the delta 18-900. That's one sweet press...


                  • #10
                    Re: Pickin up the ridgid drill press today! Have a couple of questions.

                    Thanks for the post. I'm glad it is working out for you.